think of this verse only in terms of a state of persecution, but its
principle applies all the time. Life is a series of compulsions which
lead us to choices. These compulsions come in two varieties: 1) forced,
as by a gun to our temple which says, "Do this or else," and 2)
unforced, just as each dawn comes regardless, gently persuading us to
rise and meet our duties. Each pushes us to choose, and the only real
difference in them is their strength.
surrounded by various elements that, forced or unforced, exert pressure
to compel us to submit to them out of loyalty. Both good and evil are
compulsions pressuring us to follow them. Our culture urges us to
"go along." Family ties influence us to blend in. Our peers,
friends in business, school, or neighborhood buddies, entice us to
conform. These compulsions sweep us along, and all too frequently we go
right into idolatry to satisfy our desires to be accepted and feel
secure. But Peter and the other apostles said, "We ought to obey God rather than men."